SEATTLE---Boeing Business Jets today announced the delivery of a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) to the South African Air Force. Armaments Corporation of South Africa Ltd. (ARMSCOR), acting on behalf of the military, purchased the BBJ, which will be used for intercontinental VIP transport in the South African Air Force fleet. This will be the first BBJ based in South Africa.
"The technical evaluation found that one aircraft, the BBJ, could meet our stringent mission requirements,'' said George Van Niekerk, South African Air Force brigadier general, during the delivery ceremony at Boeing Field on June 26. "Our missions, normally departing from the Air Force Base Waterkloof, in Pretoria, with special altitude and temperature conditions, require non-stop flights to most European destinations and this airplane came close to meeting all of our specifications perfectly.''
With recent deliveries to Latin America and now South Africa, BBJs are based on six continents.
"This delivery was a great team effort between Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Boeing Business Jets, ARMSCOR and of course, the South African Air Force,'' said Lee Monson, who was recently named president of Boeing Business Jets. "We're delighted that the BBJ meets the special mission needs of the air force and we look forward to working with them on future requirements.''
Designed for corporate and VIP applications, the BBJ is a special, high-performance derivative of the Next-Generation 737-700. The addition of auxiliary fuel tanks provides owners with a business jet platform having a maximum range capability of 6,200 nautical miles (11,480 kilometers), while requiring less than 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) of runway.
With cruising speeds of up to .82 Mach -- equivalent to a ground speed of 550 miles per hour (870 kilometers per hour) -- the BBJ can serve such routes as Los Angeles to London or Paris, New York to Buenos Aires, Argentina, or London to Johannesburg, South Africa. The same CFM56-7 engines used on the Next-Generation 737 commercial airplanes power the BBJ.
The BBJ 2, announced in October 1999, is based on the 737-800. It has 25 percent more interior space and twice the luggage space of the BBJ. Production of the first BBJ 2 began in September 2000 and the first two airplanes delivered "green'' (no interior or paint) in March 2001.
The BBJ and BBJ 2 provide unsurpassed levels of space, comfort and utility and are backed by a top-notch product support program with dedicated field service representatives around the world.
Boeing Business Jets is a joint venture with General Electric launched in July 1996 to respond to market demand for a larger, more capable business airplane that can fly more than 6,000 nautical miles (11,110 kilometers). Since the program's inception, there have been 59 green BBJs delivered, and there currently are 33 completed BBJs in service.
Boeing Business Jets Delivers BBJ to South African Air Force